Perry Military II

Challenges-Part Two

Goals, Road Blocks, or Both?

Part Two – See what’s trying to slow me down or make me quit and how I cope.

Now in order for me to knock out my list (Part One of this Blog) I have what has amounted to quite a list of Road Block Challenges to overcome.  It’s really nothing to do with the first 4 on the Road Block Challenge points I presented in Part One, but pretty much all physical ailments.  Discussing physical or medical ailments is a tough talking point and one that most would choose to avoid as it’s very personal.  Can’t say I’m much different, however, if my own struggles motivates others…I’m all in!

Note: Below you will see disability percentages.  These % disabilities are officially Veteran Administration Ratings.  Though I am not missing any limbs or an obvious physical disability (thankfully and my hats off to those warriors) as such they are real and they are struggles of varying degree)

Let’s just go down the list.

  1. Over 50 – Nuff said. Not complaining (too much), but some things are just harder, period.

My Disability from Military Service

  1. Lower Back Pain (15% VA Disability) – After nearly 20 years as a Navy Diver and Bomb Expert operating within SOF environments one’s body is bound to take a beating; Sky Diving with combat loads, caving ladder climbing onto a moving ship with combat loads, fast roping in full kit over and over will do it to just about anyone. (Manageable)
  2. Psoriasis (15% VA Disability) – Battling psoriasis for 15 years now. Probably more embarrassing than anything else, but it can get in the way and sometimes psoriatic arthritis comes along with it.  Not to mention that the med is an immunosuppressant. (Manageable)
  3. Sleep Apnea (50% VA Disability) – A potentially dangerous condition if not taken care of: High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Type II Diabetes, and of course tiredness. I do not use a CPAP and probably should, but improving my health and diet is helping.  (Manageable)

Within the last 6 months

  1. Stress Fracture Left Fibula – Occurred while training for NYC Marathon. Had to postpone running for months and switched to cycling and swimming in lieu of.  (Required Therapy)
  2. Gout in 2nd Toe of Right Foot – Amazing how painful that was/is. Watching diet more closely, but required Medication.  (Manageable)
  3. Stress Fracture 3 Metatarsal Left Foot – I think caused by offsetting Gout pain of right foot. Had to postpone cycling AND running so started Indoor Rowing.  (Required Therapy)
  4. Left Shoulder Pain – Noticed a lump forming on top of shoulder. Affecting weight lifting program.  Seeking professional assessment.  (Less Manageable)
  5. Tendinitis in both Elbows – Pain wanes and waxes. (Manageable)
  6. Internal Bleeding – Recently discovered and won’t go into any details, but suffice it to say it freaks me out. (Need to see a Doc…Stat!)
  7. Glass Sliver in Left Heel – From a broken glass during the end our New Year’s Eve Party. Why bare-footed…poor judgement due to inebriation.  (Irritating but Manageable)

It just seems that something else keeps popping up.  Maybe I’m doing something wrong or maybe it’s just age catching up or both.  Though it is a bit strange to have two stress fractures within a half year and the Fibula being one of them.  That said, it has driven me to diversify my workout portfolio…otherwise known as cross-training.

So what motivates me to keep pressing (no pun intended) on?  I have about a half dozen focal points within my mental channel.  Different octanes of tackling fuel, if you will.  Here’s that list

  1. Numero Uno, My two beautiful daughters – I count them as one as they’re both equally important and beautiful and I want to be around as long as possible to see them grow through life.

Perry's Daughters

My daughters playing karate kid

  1. My Lovely Wife – Hot, in shape, encourager and a motivator for sure.

Stacy Beach Photo

My wife in Maui

  1. My Former Self – When I was still operating and exercising regularly.

Perry Military

Me in Afghanistan, 2005

  1. Music – Like most it’s a given. Tunes that motivate whether through intensity, memories (good or bad), or just something to take your mind away for a bit.
  2. Outside Motivators – Like anyone that has severe challenges and marches on through extreme adversity…like a quadruple amputee swimming! I feel like a complete slacker every time I see this quick vid!
  3. Bad People – Like terrorist, shit-bag criminals and crooked politicians. Pisses me the “F” off and gets my blood boiling.
  4. Lastly, the Human Spirit – I dig into this more than most. It’s what defines us, good or bad, and it always motivates me beyond…and I throw a thought of my girls on top for a little nitro boost.

Well, those are my lists of Goal & Roadblock challenges.

As I age I begin to realize a few things: (1) My body is aging with me, and (2) There are things I can do about it.  As I started down this path almost 2 years ago, taking it slowly so as not to derail myself, I keep running into things that both motivated me and things that got in the way of my motivation.  Going through the various regiments of trying to get back into shape I’ve had a bit of an epiphany…The Means to the End may well be the End Itself!

As something breaks, I’ll switch up my program.  As that something breaks I switch it up again.  In doing so I have pushed myself into exercise venues I NEVER would’ve considered, Erging e.g.  It also provides me with multiple choices which helps me keep my motivation as I am not a singular regiment fella.  I started off with the goal of getting my running legs back and due to a stress fracture had to pick up Cycling and started Swimming again.  After the next stress fracture I really started getting into Indoor Rowing.  Now all 4 are part of my exercise program, if physically possible, as well as Bow Flew Max Trainer, strength training, core, and stretching of course.

Just to be clear, I’m not looking to become a fitness guru.  Far from it actually as I’m not “THAT” motivated and I enjoy my daily intake of “Mental Stability” way too much…i.e. a Tito’s Martini – Tooth Cracking Cold (well shaken), Sahara (extremely dry), and Chubby Checker (with a twist).  I think I’m just an average, middle-aged fella that would like to remain at a certain level of physical readiness for a long time to come.  Aside from the physical issues I have, at any given time, some days it’s just hard to get motivated, but it helps me tremendously to have a little gym in the house.  That pushes me to at least get going as it’s convenient to do something, however long or strenuous.  Once I get past the Roadblock Challenge I usually find myself going harder than I originally thought I would.  If you find yourself in a similar situation find that something that helps you break through your Road Block.

A quick shout out to my wife…she prepares me a “bowl” of vitamin supplements every day in order to help me with my poor joints and brittle bones.  Thanks Babe!

Whatever your motivators are let me just throw this out there as a possible assist to you and your Challenges.  A 30 day Challenge and 3 easy to do steps.

  1. Take a picture of yourself as revealing as you’re comfortable with and hide it from yourself (and others) for 30 days.
  2. Do something, anything, everyday (with the exception of a day off per week, if desired). It can be stretching, walking, running, yoga, weights or whatever that promotes your health.  We’ll worry about diet a bit later.
  3. Get a 30 day calendar and post it FRONT & CENTER where you see it several times a day. A great reminder/motivator.  Check off each day you do something and what you do if desired.

After 30 days take another picture in the same clothes in the same environment and compare the two.  Hopefully, if you were true to course, you’ll see a difference, a better you.  If not, hopefully you’ll feel better at least.

I know a few friends doing just this and one will finish up this weekend.  Can’t wait to hear her results and I know she has been very motivated.  Another friend is approaching the halfway point, but he’s still sticking to it.  Awesome!

P.S. – Let me just close out this Blog by saying this simple thing that we’ve all heard before in some form or another.

Just give it a solid try for 30 days.  We as humans can do just about anything for an infinite amount of time when we put our minds to it.  So 30 days is a mere drop in the proverbial life bucket.

If not for yourself then for someone else.  And in doing so you’ll find out that they are effectively one in the same.

Thank You!

Perry Before Pic







Ready to jumpstart your 30-Day Challenge?  Join the discussion with me on Twitter @PerrySasnett #TheBombGuy #r30DayChallenge

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